Preventing Self-confidence from Feeding Ego
Jeremy wrote and asked:
“How does one separate confidence from ego?
It is a constant struggle of mine.”
When our mindfulness is vulnerable,
which is truly needs to be,
there will be times when we feel
Like most things
upon the Buddha’s path of matriarchy
it is neither good nor bad
but simply is.
For, as Dud-jom Rin-po-che reminded us
in his prayer of Calling the Lama from Afar,
is the expression of Dhar-ma-ka-ya,
and is neither good nor bad.”
like a scalpel,
which may be used
to heal or harm,
like many other things,
may be use to strengthen
of a permanent,
and oh so solid self
that many pseudo-intellectual teachers
describe as ego.
But since the Buddha
did NOT use the Greek word “ego”
and Doctor Freud,
who resurrected that word,
did not use it that way
let us too refrain
from using it that way.
NO, NOT out of intellectual snobbery,
but simply because misapplying
a psychoanalytical term
to the Buddha’s teachings
and thwarts the Buddha’s path of mastering:
the active contemplation of love and letting go
as well as passive mindfulness and meditation.
Indulge me as I moon-walk
backwards in time.
What the Gelugpa describe
and what the Nyingmapa describe
as obstructions to omniscience…
the Mahayana describe
simply as pride;
which is only but one
of five mental poisons
that one is bound to notice
as one practices the vulnerable mindfulness
mandatory to the successful practice
of both Ma-ha-mu-dra and Trek-chöd.
What, then, are we to do
when sitting in passive practice
of setting mindfulness upon our inhalation
and meditation upon our exhalation…
when we notice the hate that shoves,
or the greed that reaches,
or the confusion that fearfully clutches,
or the competitive jealousy
that forgets that we’re all in this together,
or the self-centered pride
that forgets impermanence?
Are we to resort to self-talk,
which ignores the realities of neuroscience
as well as the Buddha’s teachings
of the seven enlightenment factors?
Will we strive to push pride away
in the name of letting-go
which is rather like making-love
in the name of virginity
not to mention
the way it can repress
our process of mindfulness
so mandatory to enlightenment’s path?
How are we to transcend
any mental poison
without falling deeper
into duality’s habit energy…
of hating and craving,
or dreading and desiring,
or pushing and pulling,
or fearing and hoping?
Just as Sauron diabolically created one ring
to rule them all,
similarly the Buddha kindly taught one response
to all phenomena.
And having one response
is really rather handy
for by applying it to:
all that is external or internal…
all that is physical or mental,
all that is pleasurable or painful,
all that is interesting or boring,
and all that is glorious or grotesque
we disrupt the habit energy of duality,
that self-same duality that drowns us
in the Samsara’s sea of stress.
But what is it?
What is the single response
to all phenomena
that could truly liberate us?
And how are we to do that?
Just as evolutionary biology
has wired our bodies
to subtly tighten during each IN-breath
it has also wired our physiques
to subtly relax during each OUT-breath.
Fortunately just as inhalation’s constriction
is the ideal moment to practice vulnerable mindfulness
likewise exhalation’s relaxation
is the ideal moment to mentally release.
How ironic it is
that the passive noticing and release
so integral to both
Mahamudra and Trekchöd
are as close
as our next
round of breath!
What are we to do
when we notice pride
during our inhalation?
As we exhale
let us physically relax
as best we can
thus setting space
to mentally release.
we do not have to obsessively
analyze or label
that which we notice
like Renfield forever organizing
and reorganizing his insects…
for that will undermine
If we must use a label
then let us use the universal label “this”
that duality, distinction, and contrivance
might be very well side stepped
as Dudjom Rinpoche encouraged,
“May freedom from craving and contrived deeds
be your action.”
Together let us practice these techniques
in this livestream’s guided meditation
upon who’s threshold
we now stand.
Let us conclude
with a simple
call to action
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